It was the single bloodiest day this year, with at least 97 people killed and more than 300 wounded in preliminary totals, according to local Iraqi officials in the many areas where attacks took place. The toll could rise still further as reports of more strikes continued to come in from provinces in northern and central Iraq well into the afternoon.
The attacks were predicted Sunday in an audio message attributed to the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Bakir Al Baghdadi, and posted on the group’s Web site. The message promised that a new offensive, which it called Breaking Down Walls, would begin soon.
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